GETFOXFIT | IFBB Bikini Fitness Athlete & Kidney Cancer Survivor Lisanne Keir

Contest Prep | Weight Training | Fitness Motivation | Nutrition & Healthy Living Inspiration


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Friday Five: Top 5 Food Tips to Help you Reach your Heath Goals and Create the Body of your Dreams

Top 5 Food Tips (www.getfoxfit.com)

 

STRENGTH –

Anyone can workout for an hour, but to control what goes on your plate the other 23 hours… that’s the hard work!

 

Ain’t that the truth.

You can sculpt, build, lift, push, pull and sweat as much as you can through exercise, but without the right food (and portion sizes) to fuel your body it won’t change as much as you want.  It’s not just about being strong in the gym but OUT of the gym, in the other 23 hours.

Last year I intensively worked out and ate very healthily however my body made the most dramatic changes when I modified what I ate, how I ate and my portion sizes.  Yes, I was eating healthy food but just way too much and being the carb monster that I was, the percentage of macronutrients that I ate was WAY off.

Once I set my goal the biggest thing I needed to do was change my habits and emotions towards food as well as eat smaller portions, different % of fats, carbs and protein, eat more often (every 2-3 hours) and, like I said before, stick to the plan.  No ifs or buts.

Food really is a science, that’s what makes it so interesting.

Abs really are made in the kitchen!

On that note, here are my Top 5 Food Tips 

1. Portion Control

I cannot stress this one enough!

We all built individually and need different amounts of calories and % of macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) depending on your goal(s), so what may work for your friend / sister / neighbour / training buddy may not work for you.  In my case, I was eating the same (if not bigger) portions than Maarten, my husband, who weighs nearly twice my weight!  No wonder I didn’t see any changes for all of those months.

You can check out some example of portion control on my Pinterest board here.

2. The best exercise you can do is walk away from the kitchen and fridge with a glass of water! 

Last year you could find me hovering around the kitchen, usually at times when I wasn’t so busy and had time to think about food.  I would go in there and nibble on a handful of nuts, or have a few sneaky crackers here and there.  Dates filled with walnuts were a huge favourite of mine – so I would have a handful of those too a few times through the day.

I thought I was being healthy BUT I wasn’t paying any attention to the calories or nutrition of the food I was eating.  Yes, dates and walnuts are healthy but they are packed with fats (even though they are good fats) and sugar (even though they are natural sugars), so are high in calories and carbs too.

Even though I was eating healthy options I was consuming far more calories than my body needed.

So next time you find yourself in the kitchen, looking for munchies – get yourself a big glass of water instead!  More often than not we are either “bored” or dehydrated when we think we’re hungry.

3. Be mindful what and when you eat

I have learned to say no.  Believe me, this was a massive thing for me.  I would always eat what, when and where I wanted.

I absolutely love food, especially cakes and would never ever turn down the offer of one.  Birthday parties, work gatherings, dinners out etc. were always exciting times when I would eat any of the things on offer.

However I had to make a conscious decision to really see and take on board all that I was eating – it’s an interesting thing to do – as, like I said, there were those moments alone in the kitchen with the sneaky handful of snacks that I wouldn’t consider as extra calories or even think about… but they all mount up.

So, think before you eat.  Make smart choices.   And learn to say “No”.

4. Keep a ‘food diary’ for a week

Something that made a huge impact was keeping a “Food Diary / Schedule”.

I really wanted to see what, how much and when I was eating so I started using the “Notes” function on my iPhone and ‘writing down’ what, when and how much I was eating.

What an eye opener!

Again – yes all healthy things, but WAY too much – especially in the evening.  I had formed habits, like eating peanut butter on toast with a tea at 20:30 when I would watch The Big Bang Theory.  That was my ritual.  And these were very unnecessary nutrients and calories that my body didn’t need, since I had already ate enough carbs and fats through the day.

So I had to change my habit and make a conscious effort to replace this ritual with something else… which has now become a salad and green tea.

Writing things down and seeing what I was eating was really interesting.  Give it a go!

5. Be accountable to someone other than yourself 

Another biggie!  Sometimes being accountable to yourself is just not enough.  “No one will know if I have that biscuit / croissant / McDonalds etc.”  You, of course, but sometimes the pleasure outweighs the guilt, so you eat it anyway.

However, having another person to be accountable to (and not wanting to let down) can really help you focus, stick to the plan and help in the motivation department.  For me this person was my coach Jerry Koolhoven.

So share your goal with someone (your partner, a friend, a colleague whoever) and go for it!

Another blog post you may find interesting and like to read is:

Hungry, or think you are hungry?  

 


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Friday Five: 5 Health Benefits and Reasons to Eat Grapefruit

5 reasons to drink grapefruit (www.getfoxfit.com)

Not only do I drink lemon water first thing in the morning, but grapefruit juice is a firm daily favourite.

It’s packed with Vit C and other various nutrients and vitamins, high in fibre and low in calories.

An awesome addition to the day to wake you up, curb hunger, burn fat, fight disease and much much more.

 Check out 5 health benefits and reasons to enjoy grapefruit…

1. Prevents cancer

Since there are anti-cancer agents (bioflavonoids and other plant chemicals) in grapefruits they are protective against cancer, particularly in the digestive system, and the formulation of tumours.

2. Promotes weight loss

Grapefruit has a fat burning enzyme that helps absorb and reduce sugar and starch in the body whilst stablize blood sugar and insulin levels.  It’s a great way to naturally curb hunger and boost your metabolism.

3. Fights fatigue and tiredness 

Not only is it refreshing but it’s a great way to quickly boost your energy levels.

4. Helps with indigestion

Grapefruit acts immediately on indigestion by easing irritation caused in the stomach by improving the flow of gastric and digestive juices.

5. Acidity

Even though grapefruit may taste acidic it’s juice has an alkaline reaction after digestion.  This has a huge effect on acidity in the digestive system that can cause numerous health problems.  Thus, grapefruit is extremely beneficial in preventing acid formation which can cause many diseases.

 

Preparation

Wash the grapefruit under cool water before eating or slicing to get rid of dirt or pesticide residue.

Some serving tips:

  • Grapefruit can be eaten like oranges.  Cut the fruit horiztonally (into 2 halves) and scoop it out.
  • My favourite way is to squeeze the grapefruit and drink the juice.  Extremely refreshing!
  • You can also add grapefruit to salads, or add the juice to other fruit juices, such as lemon or orange juice

Important note!  

Taking medications?  Please click here to see if grapefruit will interfere or interact with your medications.

 

5 reasons to drink grapefruit (www.getfoxfit.com)


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Friday Five: 5 spices I couldn’t live without…

5 spices I couldn't live without (getfoxfit)

Spices and herbs – a total necessity to add flavour to your dishes… and as an added bonus they come with their very own individual health benefits. A total win win!

I use spices on just about everything – no matter if it’s fish, veggies or sweet potatoes…

Below are the 5 spices I couldn’t live without, and their health benefits:

1. Hot chili pepper (health benefits here)

2. Black pepper (heath benefits here)

3. Turmeric (health benefits here)

4. Paprika (health benefits here)

5. Cayenne pepper (health benefits here)

Which spice is your favourite?


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Friday Five: Top 5 Bodybuilding Websites

Happy Friday!!!

Which better things to share on a Friday morning than some informative and inspirational websites!

I love scrolling through Facebook and Instagram to see what others are up to – it really inspires me to see progress photos, meal prep, behind the scenes shots from competitions and read info that others have shared etc.

However I also have a few websites that I regularly visit for workout and training ideas, motivation, nutritional information and interviews.

Below are my top websites:

1. Simply Shredded

2. Cut and Jacked

3. Trimmed and Toned

4. Bodybuilding.com

5.  Muscular Development

6. BONUS Muscle and Fitness

Do you have a favourite website that isn’t on the list?  Let me know in the comments below!


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Friday Five: How to Recharge your Health & Fitness Goals (by Asking Yourself these 5 Questions)

How to recharge your health and fitness goals (go to: www.getfoxfit)

Every so often it’s very beneficial to reinvigorate what you are doing by taking a step back to look at your progress and assess how far you still need to go to achieve your goal(s).

So following on from the SMART goals blog post we are going to ask 5 questions that will recharge your health & fitness goals and help you successfully attain your objective.

 

1. Are you still excited about your chosen fitness path?

Be it running, training at the gym, tennis, CrossFit, powerlifting, football, swimming etc.  Are you still looking forward to spending time doing that?

If yes – awesome!  Let’s take it a step further by asking yourself if you can push yourself more than you have this week?

Can you do your last run in a faster time?  Can you lift 10kg more?  Can you try and score one more goal?  Can you perfect your dive to achieve a faster length time?

In 3 words – Yes You Can!

This is something that I have been learning over the past months – in order to progress and achieve your goal(s) you need to push yourself – get out your ‘safe’ zone, adopt a “Can Do” mentality, put in the hard work and go that extra mile.

If no – go to number 2

 

2. Are you trying new ways of exercising?

Even if you are really enjoying your chosen way of getting and staying fit, it’s always fun and challenging to try a new sport and/or exercise training program.

I have found that the best way to keep the momentum and passion is to do, and try, different things.  Mix it up!

Always do 30 mins cardio, why not try HIIT?  Instead of 4 sets of 10 heavy reps, why not try 3 sets of 15 lighter reps (and use the mind-muscle connection)?  How about doing your cardio outside?  Find some stairs, or a track, or a park – outdoors is your playground.  How about mixing up your weight training exercises? (Loads of ideas here)  How about trying a new sport that you haven’t done before?  Always work out or exercise alone, why not find a training buddy? (Or vice versa).

Give something new a go!  Make, and keep, fitness fun.

 

3. Are you trying new foods or ways of eating?

In order to know what works best for you,  your body and your lifestyle you may need to take a ‘food journey’.  Over the past 2 years I have tried paleo, raw, clean, macrobiotic, vegan and vegetarian.

As much as I thought I needed to “fit” in a box and pick just one, I have settled upon a mixture of macrobiotic, vegan and clean eating.

So, don’t be afraid to try different things, see what works, what doesn’t and make your decisions based on that.

 

4. What are you short term goals?

Let’s revisit your short term goals.  What do you want to achieve this week with regards to food, fitness, health and wellness?

Do you want to hit the gym 3 times this week?  Do you want to hit a new PR?  Do you want to run a faster mile?  Do you want to meal prep your food for the next 3 days?  Do you want to cook a protein packed healthy vegan dish from scratch?  Do you want to ensure you have 3 meatless dinners this week?  Do you want to bake a clean banana bread with your kids?

Whatever your short term goal for this week / weekend or even today is – focus and follow the steps it takes to reach it!

 

5. What are your long term wellness goals?

What do you want to achieve by this time next year, in 2 years, in 5 years?

Have a think about what you would like to do after you have reached your short term goal(s), what is your next step?

Have you thought about how you will maintain the shape / weight / body mass / condition you are reaching to achieve?

Overall wellness and heath is the name of the game, so keep your goals clear and remember to revisit them to stay on track.

 

The world is your oyster so stay driven, stay focused and Just Do It!


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Friday Five: 5 FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)…

5 Frequently Asked Questions (getfoxfit)

1. Do you live in the gym? 

The biggest misconception, but one that I fully understand as most of my social media updates and photos (via Instagram, facebook and twitter) are gym related, so I can imagine it looks like I live there haha.

The reality is: I am in the gym for 45 mins – 1.5 hours max, and I train 4-5 times a week.

 

2. You must not eat that much? What do you eat?  

I’m a big eater let me tell you, but what I’ve learned is portion control.  Last year I ate healthily BUT just too much of everything.  I ate the same as my 98kg bodybuilding husband, sometimes more than him in all honesty.

Since last August I chose to follow a hybrid of a vegan and macrobiotic diet – no eggs, no diary, no meat.  I eat clean and make everything from scratch.

If you are interested in eating clean, check out: How to Start Eating Clean – Tips and Essentials.  And 5 Clean Eating Swaps you can easily make.

A bodybuilder who doesn’t eat meat, eggs or dairy may seem quite funny when you consider an average bodybuilding diet.  So what does this No Meat Athlete eat exactly?

  • Protein: White fish (cod, haddock, whiting, tilapia, pangasius) and Hemp Protein powder, like GOOD and TerraSana (after trainings).  I also get some protein through vegetables
  • Carbs: Gluten free oatmeal, sweet potato, rye bread and rice crackers
  • Fats:  Nut butter, flax seeds, cashews, almonds and walnuts
  • Veggies: LOADS but my fav’s are: asparagus, courgette, broccoli, spinach, kale, red peppers, plum tomatoes and celery

 

3. How do you deal with cravings or hunger?

Check out my 5 tips here.

 

4. How do you stay so motivated and driven? 

My biggest motivator was, and still is, cancer.  I was ‘kind of’ (rather semi) motivated before but not to the point that I have become after hearing about the Big C.

I nearly lost my life so want to make damn sure that I am the healthiest version of myself and be around for a long long time.

Cancer left me with one kidney, so I need to make sure I keep it as healthy as can be (meaning more water, less salt, watching specific proteins etc.)  I wrote more about this here: What are you training for?  LIFE!

So basically I use this ‘health challenge’  as an opportunity to fuel my food choices and trainings.

 

5. What are your top tips to get and remain fit and healthy?

  • Be consistent.  Big changes will not happen over night, but with every choice you make (fitness and food wise) you are constantly bringing about changes.  Slow and low is the way to go!  Keep the faith and keep going
  • Adopt an athletic mentality – whatever your goal is think and train like an athlete
  • Lift heavy and challenge yourself.  You are MUCH stronger (mentally and physically) that you think.  Don’t be afraid to lift heavy ladies!
  • Find a way to incorporate health and fitness into your lifestyle.  You want it to be sustainable for the long term, indefinite actually… not just a “diet” or fitness schedule you follow for a few weeks
  • Create short and long term goals.  Check out: 5 Steps to Create a Solid Health & Fitness Goal
  • Need more fitness tips?  Check out: Top 5 Fitness Tips
  • For more nutrition tips, click here

 

6. (BONUS) What did you do exactly to change your lifestyle?

In a nutshell:

  • I changed my eating habits and attitudes to food
  • I made a decision to make fitness, healthy eating and working out / exercising part of my daily habit
  • I made goals (short and long term)
  • I kept (and keep) it interesting by reading more, learning more, seeing what others are doing (through Instagram etc.), I try out new ways of exercising and make healthy living a main part of our family life

Ain’t nothing to it but to do it!


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Friday Five: 5 Steps to Create a Solid Health & Fitness Goal

5 steps to create a solid health and fitness goal (via getfoxfit)

Goals, and in turn, plans.  A necessity if you want to achieve anything in life.

We can all have wishes, ideas or a vision of what we would like – to lose a few pounds, be a different dress size, have bigger biceps, eat less sugar or processed foods, have a six pack, provide healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners for yourself and your family, be able to walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath, squat more than your body weight, do a pull up (or do 10 pull ups), be more active with your kids, be more confident etc.

BUT without a clear, well defined, goal those things are just ‘wants’ and wishes.  So, what can we do?  How can we create a concrete plan that will enable me to reach my goal?

Let’s go back to school days – do you remember those S.M.A.R.T. goals the teachers were on about?  To be honest I only ever used them in the business and management exams where they were needed.  I never actually used them in real life ‘personal’ situations until recently.

So how do we make a rock solid goal and plan?  I will go through it very simply below and provide examples for you…

Get your pen and paper ready!

1. Specific

Question: Who?  What?  Why?  Where?  When?

The more focus you have, the more powerful the goal is.  AND the better the plan you can make towards reaching it.

So instead of having the goal “Get healthy and fit” make it as specific as possible, for example:

“Join a gym in my neighborhood, train 3 days a week after work and drop 1 dress size within 3 months”

“Eat cleaner and lose 2 kilos in 4 weeks by making 5 dinners a week from scratch”

“Find a running partner locally to train with 3 nights to prepare (and compete in) the half marathon that takes place in 6 months time”

So identify who is involved, what you want to accomplish, the location, a time frame, requirements and the purpose / benefits of reaching your goal.

Like I said, More Focus > More Power.

2. Measurable

We are talking numbers here.  Think about how much / how many and how you will know when you have achieved your goal.

Set target dates.  For example:

“Lose x amount of pounds in x weeks”

“Squat x kg in x training sessions”

“Win x tennis matches in x amount of time”

“Eat x healthy meals every x days”

“Do x amount of pull ups in x amount of time”

3. Attainable

Dream big but create timelines.

You can achieve anything you want, but you need to establish a timeframe and plan for each step of the way.  By making a timeline of what you want to achieve by when, goals will become more attainable.  You can then take small steps in the right direction and do something every single day that will ensure you reach your goal.  Let’s not forget, dreams don’t work unless you do!

4. Realistic

Write down the results that can be realistically achieved given the resources available to you.

Aim as high as you like… even if it may seem impossible, but ask yourself – “Do I have the resources and time to reach this goal?”

For example, since last year my goal has been the following:

“In 14 months I will be alive, healthy and in the best shape of my life to stand on stage and compete in an IFBB Bikini Competition (October 2014).”

This was my goal since I was diagnosed with cancer.  I wanted to prove to myself that anything is possible if you put your mind to it… plus I wanted to create the best physique I had ever had in my life, no matter of my age or what I had been through.  The quote, “It’s never too late to be in the best shape of your life” made a huge impact on me.

My goal was pretty high, something I never would have imaged, but I had enough time to reach the goal even though I knew there would be a lot to overcome to reach it.

Physically speaking I had to recover from having a 1kg cancerous tumor and kidney being taken out of my body, I had to adjust to having one kidney, I had to go from not being able to walk after surgery to regaining the strength and energy that was necessary to get fit, healthy and back into the gym to train.

I had to adapt mentally – by nature I am a shy introvert (too sensitive and too much thinking), so I would need to get over ‘stage fright’ and gain the confidence to not only stand in a bikini on front of thousands of people, but also get out of my comfort zone and share my journey and progress online.

Yes, there are challenges to overcome BUT realistically speaking this goal is attainable through hard work and by taking small steps every day to inch me closer to my goal.

I would go so far in saying that the bigger the goal the more passion, love and determination you have!  So bear that in mind when you are creating your goal – aim high!

5. Timely

Specify when the result will be achieved.

What is the specific timeframe?

A deadline time will create urgency.  If you don’t have a set time or any urgency then your focus and momentum may slip away.

So, if you want to lose 12 lbs, when do you want to lose it by?

If you want to squat 100kg, when do you want to squat it by?

Anchor your goal with a date.

 

Recap and goal checklist

Now that you have a clear idea of how you can make a concrete goal, let’s just double check you have all of the elements needed to make it rock solid.  So read your goal again and ask yourself, is it….

1. Specific?

2. Measurable?

3. Attainable?

4. Realistic?

5. Timely?

Now, go and take those steps each and every day to reach it!!!  #GameOn

I would love to hear what your goals and plans are!  Please feel free to share them in the comments below!